pskilling has been a buzzword for a few years now, and for good reason. Upskilling is a key way for organizations to develop resilience, productivity and employee satisfaction in the face of uncertain or volatile economic conditions.
What is upskilling?
Upskilling refers to the active pursuit of learning new skills. These new skills add to a previous base of knowledge, such as a university degree, or prior experience.
Upskilling is often thought of in the context of advancing or pivoting one’s career. With younger workers now expected to hold more jobs and pursue more careers than any generation before, upskilling holds a vital role in enabling career flexibility and transitions.
However, upskilling has never been more critical or relevant for teams. With the massive shake-up brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic crisis, many businesses saw teams cut by more than half, leaving those behind to scramble to fill new skill gaps. Many businesses have found themselves needing to reinvent entrenched practices in the new world of remote working. Meanwhile many workers are feeling stagnant or uncertain about their employer’s ability to invest in their future.
Many of these critical issues can be addressed through an upskilling program in your organization.
Why you should be upskilling your team
There are a wide range of benefits to implementing an upskilling program in an organization, including:
Implementing new strategies
If you’re looking to implement a new strategy across your team or department, it’s critical that everyone is on the same page, delivering the same experiences for a unified, consistent customer journey.
Filling the skill gap
Discovering your team lacks a critical skill is not uncommon, but the ability to hire or outsource to fill that gap is much rarer. In this case, upskilling a team member can be the most efficient and productive solution to fill the skill gap.
In today’s competitive job market, workers are looking for employers who can actively support their career growth. A huge 34% of employees have left their jobs for better career development opportunities, while companies who invest in learning and development improve employee retention by 30-50%. With the incredibly high cost of replacing an employee, boosting retention is a no-brainer.
Attracting new talent
An organization with a reputation for investing in the learning and development of their employees is more likely to attract top talent. 59% of millennials claim development opportunities are extremely important when deciding whether to apply for a position or not. A clear, considered L&D program could make a huge difference in the quality of talent approaching your organization.
Create tomorrow’s leaders
Hopefully, when hiring new recruits, you’re looking for individuals with potential to grow into future leadership roles. Developing internal talent is almost always cheaper and more effective than hiring externally for new leaders. When you invest in the leadership potential of your junior team members, they will be more engaged with your company, and have far lower turnover than organizations who neglect them.
Capture organizational knowledge
When long term employees walk out the door, they take invaluable experience and expertise with them that can be worth millions. By creating an upskilling program that captures the knowledge of long-term employees and passes it to newer recruits, you can capture organizational wisdom and prevent costly knowledge drain.
Whether your team is B2B or B2C, well-trained team members are better equipped to handle customer inquiries, solve problems and respond to complex situations. Quick, quality service leads to happy customers and clients.
Don’t hold back
If you’re interested in upskilling your team, don’t hold back! Upskilling teams is a long-term investment with rich rewards for your organization.